Social Integration and Health in Rishon LeZion

 

 

The Administration for Social Integration is a professional body working with all the services aimed at individuals, families and the community. Most of the services are supervised by various government ministries and receive funding from them. The administration has also developed additional services in response to the special needs of specific groups in the community.

The services may be divided into:

  • Services for special target population groups, such as children and youth in distress, teens, families in economic distress, families and couples in crisis, singles, the physically and mentally handicapped, people with special needs, the elderly and their families, addicts, ex-cons and their families, the homeless, victims of family violence and sexual abuse.
  • Universal services intended for broad population groups such as golden-agers, single parent families, and discharged soldiers, as well as services for communities requiring extra care.

Children
Rishon LeZion runs 52 day-care centers for little children who come from disadvantaged families. The centers serve as warm and supportive second homes for the kids. The “parents” in these centers have undergone special training and get ongoing support from the city's social workers. Day “clubs” throughout the city look after older children from disadvantaged families. Rishon also offers temporary alternative accommodations to children and young people living in perilous conditions at home… until a suitable solution is found.

Ex - Convicts
Rishon's Ex - Convict Rehabilitation Authority maintains regular contact with ex-convicts even before their release. Later, it provides counseling and professional advice to ensure their reintegration into society and the workplace. The department of Social Services maintains regular contact with convict's families and also ensures teacher - support for their children.
Teenagers at Risk
The city's social workers help teenagers in danger of becoming criminals to return to a normal social framework. Prevention and treatment help these people to prepare themselves for adult life and military service. School dropouts get sex education and special training programs and attend seminars on the dangers of drugs. Most of the kids go on to join the army, complete military service and then reintegrate into society. In a day dormitory in Nahalat Yehuda, dropouts from junior high schools get special treatment.

Disabled Children
The “Hatsav” and “Vered” schools, for disabled children aged between 3 and 21 provide a longer school day than in mainstream schools. Older people go to “Ma'as” - an educational organization that keeps them active making things such as wicker baskets and embroidered items.
From Soldier to Civilian
Recently discharged army soldiers get help from the municipality's Ex-Servicemen Department. Here they can learn their rights and get information about loans and grants for studying. The department organizes annual events where ex-servicemen get information on education and employment.

Disabled People
The Authority for Social Integration assists disabled people to integrate into society, providing them and their families with customized solutions and treatment. The “Meital Home” is a place to which disadvantaged people over 21 come every day. Rishon also employs qualified personnel in a number of other "homes" for disabled people.

Single Parent Families
A single-parent family center provides legal advice and support and runs a variety of activities and workshops for parents and children.

New Immigrants
The Social Integration Division helps new immigrants whether they are individuals, families or entire communities. The Division acts as a mediator and coordinator on their behalf when they come into contact with official bodies for the first time. These immigrants learn Hebrew in language schools and participate in a variety of cultural programs. There is also a technological center for engineer immigrants.

Old-Timers
Clubs for thousands of senior citizens organize social activities, classes, lectures and get-away-from-it-all outings. Thanks to special helpers employed by the municipality to help old people who live alone in Rishon, senior citizens can continue to live comfortably in their own homes. Even people who need special treatment get whatever they need - all kinds of home car services including hot meals. Should it become necessary, the municipality helps them find places in even more caring frameworks.

Community Volunteers
The Social Programs Division coordinates the voluntary activities of individuals and groups and encourages them by recruiting more volunteers.  

Public Health
The Ministry of Health works with the municipality to operate public health services for pregnant woman, babies, and schoolchildren.

Well Baby Clinics
Thirteen well baby clinics are active throughout the city and may be accessed by city residents based on where they live. The clinics provide preventative medical services for babies up to two years old and toddlers up to age five. Pregnant women are also monitored at the clinics. As part of the new Ministry of Health policy, the clinics will be turned into “Health Promotion Centers,” in which the community health services will be expanded, as will the target population groups.

Health Services in the Educational System
Each of the comprehensive schools in the city employs a medical staff including a doctor and certified nurse trained in public health. The school health services are a direct continuation of the services provided in the well baby clinics.

The medical staff in the schools handles the following subjects: 

  • Routine checkups, including early detection of physical disabilities, developmental problems and hearing, sight, growth, posture and nutritional impairments.
  •  Continued vaccinations – further to the ones administered to the students in the family health clinics.
  • Lectures on proper nutrition
  • Health education
  • Sexual development
  •  Preventing addictions
  • Preventing accidents
  • Preventing violence
  • Proper tanning
  • Permission slips for field trips, participation in sports and Gadna activity

Mental Health
Mental health services in the city are provided through the Community Mental Health Center. The center is run jointly by the Rishon LeZion municipality’s Administration for Social Integration and the Ness Ziona-Be’er Ya’akov Mental Health Center.

The center in Rishon was established to meet the needs of community residents. It currently employs 50 part-time workers and treats children, youths and adults.

There are four clinics at the center:

1. Adult care – Two staffs, one for the eastern part of the city and one for the west.
2. Children’s care – Ages 6-11
3. Youth care – Ages 12-20
4. Intensive care – For children with severe mental problems and their families

Healthy Cities Network
In 2009 Rishon LeZion joined Israel's Healthy Cities Network. The municipality promotes an urban health program in the realms of the environment, sport, society and education, in collaboration with other organizations and institutions active in the city.